Next up to talk about the best things in her life is Brazil’s former world pole vault champion, both indoors and outdoors, Fabiana Murer.
Murer also improved her South American indoor record to 4.83m in Nevers, France, on Saturday (7).
Best friend in athletics
Monika Pyrek, the ex-pole vaulter (Poland’s five-time world medallist, indoors and out) is a good friend. She is now retired but I still talk with her. She came out to Brazil to spend some time with me. Monika’s a great friend.
Best achievement in athletics
To have improved the pole vault in Brazil because we didn’t (before Fabiana) have any real tradition in pole vault. My coach tried to achieve good results as an athlete but didn’t reach the Pan American Games. I’m very happy to improve pole vaulting in Brazil and show the world what we can do.
It was the 2008 Beijing Olympics, when one of my poles disappeared. I went into the competition sure I could fight for a medal, but when I went out to the track and realised I was without the pole I normally use for my second and third jump (at a height).
For me, that took away my chances of fighting for a medal. It was only when I returned to the Athletes’ Village that I was aware that the missing pole was actually in the room with the poles belonging to the girls who had not qualified for the final (Fabiana placed 10th in Beijing).
Yelena Isinbayeva is a great athlete, but she also really helped me improve a lot. I have seen her sometimes happy, sometimes sad and sometimes in pain, but her attitude really helped me improve my results and for this reason she was a great rival.
Best piece of advice
It is to have no regrets about the things that I didn’t do.
I’m not like that good at the physical conditioning, so this sometime means I have some problems during training and some competitions. I have to train a lot to be in good shape, it is not so natural for me.
Best piece of kit
I liked the pair of spikes I wore when I was world champion in Daegu (in 2011). I competed with them for a long time. I had three pairs the same. I still keep them at home as part of my history.
The same stadium which will host the 2016 Olympics in Rio, the Engenhao (or Rio Olympic Stadium). It is one place I love to jump. I won the Pan American Games there and also broke the South American record there on another occasion. I have good memories competing there. It is a good place to jump, the track is fast and the atmosphere is good with very little wind.
Biggest achievement outside of athletics
The fact I have bought an apartment and I live in a nice place, where I can rest and have a good time.
Steve Landells for the IAAF